CRISIS (a multi-year EU FP6 R&D project 2010-2013) was conceived as a 3D immersive virtual world in which major incidents occur. Trainees are presented with a real-time evolving situation such as a train crash resulting in fires, explosions, increasing casualties and resources distributed around in a 3D virtual world. The trainee is required to view and assess the situation, formulate a plan, and organise a response by instructing his team while coordinating with other teams and higher command. Delays or incorrect actions would result in consequences such as higher death rates or greater damage. 

As a project partner in the CRISIS consortium, ObjectSecurity’s multi-person-year contribution involved the development of a model-driven architecture for secure information sharing. This architecture allows different stakeholders to carry out training together while restricting access and information flow based on high-level security policy requirements. ObjectSecurity’s contribution involved information modelling, information exchange modelling, model-driven security, various application platforms and more.

Watch the CRISIS overview here:

The goals of the CRISIS project were to research and develop:

  1. A training and simulation environment that will focus on real-time decision making and response to simulated but realistic crises or critical incidents, focusing primarily on problem diagnosis, planning, re-planning, and acting, rather than just procedural training or familiarity with policies;
  2. A distributed, secure, scalable, collaborative and interactive simulation and on-demand-training environment for crisis management training in airports, of individuals, teams, and teams of teams, working across multiple levels of an organisation, between organisations, and across different nations at a command post levels; and
  3. A software architecture that will be capable of being readily re-configured and used for different scenarios at other airports, transport hubs, and other critical sites like power plants or factories;
  4. A flexible platform that can also function as a test-bed and evaluation tool for new and current operational procedures, information sharing and planning tools.

The key outcomes are:

  1. The CRISIS interactive simulation and training environment that has delivered capabilities for training multiple front-line first response team-leaders and multi-level command, and across multiple emergency services in dealing with major or critical incidents. CRISIS comprises the FDX (Field Exercise) and CPX (Command Post Exercise) modules. CRISIS is deployed at our end-user partner locations – ISAVIA airports in Iceland, ANA airports in Portugal, and the BTP in the UK.
  2. A Planner module that uses a timeline-based user interface to plan exercises and scenarios. It incorporates the Variable Uncertainty Framework for varying complexity and difficulty by re-combining scenario sub-elements. The Planner is coupled with the XVR simulation 3D world where avatars and assets would be activated by the Planner.
  3. Associated with the Planner is the exercise Manager that enables instructors to control the activation of exercise injects during exercise run-time.
  4. An IP-based Communications module to enable trainees to communicate with each other via the simulation world. This has the benefit of then being able to record all conversations, and simulating distance between avatars and realistic 3D soundscapes.
  5. A mobile Observer tool that can be used on a tablet or iPad-type device or a smartphone-type device. This enables instructors to move around the trainees to record the instructors’ observations of the trainees’ performance, take photos of the training situation, make annotations, and assess the competency.
  6. An After Action Review module that enables a review of the exercise and individual trainees’ performance almost immediately after the exercise. The AAR module shows on the exercise timeline events, communications, instructors observations and comments.
  7. The Decision Support and Knowledge Management DSKM was intended to support real-time aggregation and consolidation of streaming observations and exercise events, and post-exercise data analysis. The DSKM use Topic Maps technology to create an ontology as well as a natural language interface to query the data using the Topic Maps-based Question and Answer technology. This is coupled with a combination of Esper complex events processing and Drools inference making technologies.
  8. The Secure Integration Platform, SIP, comprises a tool-chain for software development, SIP Messaging middleware for message delivery, the SIP Request-reply middleware for managing persistent state of applications, and additional tools like JMS/RDF Gateway and Backend Application, and a Semantic xWiki.
  9. Concepts developed within the CRISIS project, such as the competency- and performance-based training method, are being used in consultancy or research.
  10. The work has been published in a number of well-regarded peer-reviewed conferences and demonstrated at several trade exhibitions and end-user type forums.